What if the Senate condemns Trump?
(CNN Espasol) – President Donald Trump has been indicted again – the first leader to be indicted twice by a council in American history. The question now is whether he will be the first president to be convicted by the Senate and removed from office.
Charging is a two-part process. The House approves the indictment, but the Senate is the place where the accused faces trial and possible punishment.
What does the Constitution say about the role of the Senate?
Not much. The passage of the text is very simple. It is here:
The Senate has the exclusive power to decide all charges. If they sit for that purpose, they must be under oath or promise. When the President of the United States is put on trial, the President of the Supreme Court presides: and no person shall be sentenced without the consent of two-thirds of the members. (Article 1, Section 3)
Are there rules?
Yes. The Senate first enacted a set of rules around Andrew Johnson’s indictment in 1868, and later updated in 1986. You can read them here.
Senators take office before the procedure. There is a call to list every day. The Chief Justice has specific duties. There are time limits for arguments and denials and all questions from senators to the House and Trump lawyers must be submitted in writing and read by the Chief Justice.
When does this test begin?
It is not entirely clear. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had indicated before the vote that he would not recall senators until the last day of Trump’s term, Jan. 19. A statement on Wednesday night said it would begin the testing process.
Can it be tested in one day?
This is definitely not the case. It could take days or even weeks for the House Legislature panel to respond to the case against Trump and his lawyers. Therefore, a trial will not take place until January 20, when President-elect Joe Biden takes office.
So will Trump step down before the Senate trial is over?
Yes. Senators will vote to remove the former president.
What is the point of blaming the former president?
There is a precedent for the accusation of former officers. Read about it –This is called a “late charge”– Here. Although the main penalty for being convicted is removal from office, senators may vote to ban Trump from holding office in the future; Remember, Trump is not He ran for president in 2024. You could lose your big pension and other post-presidential benefits.
But Biden will be president. Is the Senate not busy with other things?
If more. They will be busy with confirmation hearings for those selected Biden Cabinet; At least four people are already scheduled for the week of January 20 for elected Secretary of State Anthony Blingen; Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin; Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and National Defense Secretary Alejandro Myorgas. Senators can ask for a draft Act relating to infection or economic relief: Biden wants to increase Relief checks $ 2,000.
So the charge will not be on his agenda alone. They may spend only a fraction of each day on Trump’s trial. They can, according to the rules, appoint a special commission to evaluate the case, but this is not possible.
One thing to note: While Mitch McConnell is now setting the table as Senate majority, he will lose that position once the results of the January 5 Senate run-off election in Georgia and two new certificates are received. Democratic senators, John Osoff o Rafael Warnock, Are in their seats. At that point, Democratic New York Senator Chuck Schumer will become the majority leader of the Senate and will have more control over the proceedings.
The first indictment against Trump failed. What else now?
In a word, Republicans. At Trump’s first indictment, only one Republican senator, Mitt Romney of Utah, voted to remove him from office. This time, rather than defending Trump, McConnell is said to be happy with an attempt to remove Trump or clean him up from the Republican Party. Will this lead to more votes to punish Trump? This is not clear.
How many votes are needed to punish Trump?
Great question! Punishment requires 2/3. If there were all 100 senators, 67 senators would have to vote to punish him. Assuming those two from Georgia are in office, that means there are 50 senators from each party, and 17 Republicans will be needed to punish him.
However! Pay close attention to the rules, 2/3 of them are required. If those two Georgian Democrats have not yet taken their seats, 66 senators may be needed. If some Republicans do not want to vote against Trump, but do not want to vote to convict him, they can skip the vote and change the ratio of existing senators. It is known that that kind of thing happens, even if not during criminal proceedings.
What is the historical precedent?
There are three previous presidential allegations, including Trump’s first case. President Andrew Johnson He was indicted, but escaped a Senate hearing by a vote after seven Republicans broke ranks with his party. Johnson did not win the election after his indictment. President Bill Clinton was indicted in his second term and easily acquitted; Fewer than most senators supported his removal, which was far from the required 2/3. This is a result of Trump’s first indictment Romney was the only Democrat to join Fewer than most senators supported his sentence and dismissal.